Cat Sanctuary


I was recently asked by Bev to do a post on Shrek, a cat she sponsors. She sent this photo taken by Phaedra along with her email:

Photo by Phaedra

I’d heard of a cat called Shrek before, but this was the first time I’d seen a photo of him. I was curious how he came by the name. As he didn’t look exactly friendly, I was also interested to know how Bev came to choose him as a sponsor cat.

Here’s what she had to say:

“Shrek used to live on top of the cages in the double wide and he was absolutely scary. I named him Shrek because he’s a bit of a ogre – but I think deep down he’s really not as mean as he looks. When I’d climb the ladder to scoop the boxes, if he was nearby he’d hiss and spit and he was so big and ferocious – with those gorgeous big round eyes – that after a while I began looking for him instead of cringing when I saw him.

He eventually came down to floor level and it was fun to try getting closer to him – although always giving him some distance. At some point – I’m not sure when or how – he joined the Mario fan club and started following him around. He is still pretty feral – but it’s tempered by his love for the big guy.”

Shrek, along with his sister Honey who likes to hang out in the tearoom, has been at the sanctuary for a long time. It’s hard to find anyone who knows/remembers where he originally came from. As Bev says, “You tend to remember the ones you see – not the ones who hide.”

I don’t know if it’s thanks to the Mario influence or to the passage of time, but Shrek doesn’t seem to feel the same need to put on a big show of ferocity as he once did. When I came across him tucking into a bowl of kibble on the back porch of the doublewide the other day, he only gave me one hiss. And even that seemed little more than a formality to protest the interruption.

Shortly after my encounter, Ayako snapped a close-up picture of him cuddling up to Mario. Is it just me, or does the former ogre-cat look like he’s smiling?

Shrek and Mario, photo by Ayako

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